Usain Bolt’s farewell party on Saturday was spoiled by a pair of Americans.
The Jamaican great finished third in his final 100-meter race, with Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman taking gold and silver Saturday at the world championships.
In a tight finish, Bolt was punished for his slow start and Gatlin fought back to nip everyone at the line in 9.92 seconds. Coleman took silver in 9.94 seconds while Bolt got bronze in 9.95.
Because of his doping past, Gatlin was booed in London before and after the race.
It was an amazing turnaround for Gatlin, who was the Olympic champion in 2004 before Bolt emerged and won an unprecedented three straight 100-meter titles at the Olympics. Thirteen years later, Gatlin bounced back to win in the Jamaican’s last individual race.
In between, Gatlin’s career was stopped twice for doping suspensions. Yet fighting controversy all the way since, he got perhaps his greatest gold at 35.
And Gatlin knew what Bolt meant to the sport, bowing in admiration in front of him, even after beating him.
Bolt didn’t smile any less afterward.
“It is just one of those things,” Bolt said, showing his carefree demeanour even in defeat. “It has been brilliant.”
Bolt was again slow out of the blocks in the final and came back strong, but he ended up short. When he ran out of steam, Gatlin gathered more.
The Jamaican superstar was competing in his last solo race in a championships before retiring.
Two-time drug cheat Gatlin was booed by many in the crowd when it was announced he had clinched the title.
Despite not going according to the script, fans packing the Olympic stadium were treated to a lap of honour as Bolt thanked the crowd and struck his iconic pose.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t end it on a winning note, but I want to thank you for your support,” said the sprinter.
Gatlin, who served a doping ban between 2006 and 2010, was embraced by Bolt after he crossed the line.
He told the BBC that Bolt told him he had worked hard for his win and didn’t deserve the boos.
Gatlin was the last man to have beaten Bolt over 100m – by just a hundredth of a second in Rome in 2013 – and has now beaten his nemesis again after years of trying.
*Culled from AP.
A former governorship aspirant in Kano State, Alhaji El-Amin Ibrahim, has defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Popularly known as Ibrahim-Little, he said he had to move to the PDP “because APC has not fulfilled its electoral promises to the masses. It is my desire and commitment to serve people and ensure that promises made to the electorate were fulfilled. All my cross carpeting has been from ruling parties to oppositions and on three occasions, I helped to win elections.
“I am not in politics to use political office to make financial gains. I am in politics to serve the people”.
Ibrahim-Little was state chairman of the defunct All People’s Party (APP) as well as a governorship aspirant on the platform of the party in 2003.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday, sought a no objection letter from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for the State Government’s Embedded Power Programme.
Ambode, who led some members of the State Executive Council, lawmakers and other critical stakeholders to a meeting at NERC’s headquarters in Abuja, said the embedded power project was designed as his administration’s flagship programme for direct intervention in the power value chain towards achieving a 24-hour power for Lagos.
He said the proposed power programme would generate up to 3,000MW of power through accelerated deployment of various power plants in strategic locations across the State by private sector power providers within three to six years.
He noted that Nigerians’ aspiration to create a secured and prosperous nation that is globally competitive will be difficult to achieve without stable power supply.
Ambode posited that while efforts are ongoing to resolve the power crisis, it had become increasingly clear that the problems in the energy sector could no longer be left to the Federal Government alone to solve.
“Embedded power was designed as our flagship programme for direct intervention in the power value chain towards achieving a 24-hour power for Lagos. Lagos State has always demonstrated its capacity and willingness to play a leading role in resolving the power sector challenges in the state, subject to the limit of the federal authority allowed regulations.
“Having succeeded in powering government facilities, the next level of intervention for our government is to collaborate with other stakeholders in the power sector to design and implement a roadmap for uninterrupted power supply to homes and businesses in Lagos State.
“The draft of the Lagos State Embedded Power Bill was finalised in May 2017 and submitted to the National Electricity Regulatory Commission for clearance before same can be forwarded to the State House of Assembly.
“The stakeholders’ meeting holding today is a continuation of the ongoing engagement between NERC and the Lagos State Government on the Lagos State Embedded Power Programme.
“We are convinced that the offer by our government to deploy the state’s balance sheet in support of power generation, transmission, distribution, gas supply, metering, collection and enforcement in Lagos State will significantly relieve the national grid and free more energy for distribution to other parts of Nigeria.
“The proposed power programme will generate up to 3,000MW of power through accelerated deployment of various power plants in strategic locations across the state by private sector power providers within three to six years.”
He said the State Government would issue guarantees in support of the Power Purchase Agreements that will be signed between the distribution companies and the private sector embedded power providers to enhance bankability of the projects.
He added that the power generated under the programme will be distributed through the networks of Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies while the state would support the distribution companies in upgrading their distribution infrastructure for embedded power areas in line with NERC guidelines.
“The State Government will support the distribution companies in installation of smart prepaid meters in the areas where embedded power is deployed. We will institute a cost-reflective tariff regime that is fair to all stakeholders, sustainable and capable of attracting private capital to the sector on a continuous basis.
“Other areas of collaboration include support for revenue collection, legislation and establishment of an agency for enforcement of power theft laws in Lagos.
“Our prayer today is to seek the commission’s no objection letter for the Lagos State Embedded Power Programme, based on cost reflective tariff regime that is fair to all parties and capable of unlocking private sector investments into the power sector on a sustainable basis,” the Governor said.
Responding, NERC’s Commissioner in charge of Legal License and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye, who stood in for the Commission’s Vice Chairman, promised that the NERC would work with the Lagos State Government to ensure the success of the programme.
“Within the ambit of the law and existing regulations, you have our unflinching support in this project.
“So, in response to what you said in your prayers to us, Your Excellency, I reaffirm the support of NERC towards this project. Our commitment is to create a viable electricity industry that works for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“As the laws and regulations permit us, we will work with you on this project to ensure that it does see the light of the day,” Akpaneye promised.
Akpeneye, however, called the governor’s attention to some safety issues that concern the state.
He spoke about the right of way, standards and designs, electricity theft as well as customers’ enumeration.
He noted that a situation where the Commission’s record indicates that there are only 1.2million registered electricity customers in Lagos State is not tidy enough when almost all the houses in the state are connected to national grid.
Representatives of both Eko and Ikeja Distribution Companies at the meeting declared their support for the project, saying that it would be detrimental to the progress of Nigeria if they opposed it.
Culled from freedomonline.com.ng
The management of Skye Bank Plc is seeking to take over some oil wells belonging to Jide Omokore, a businessman currently involved in some corruption cases within and outside Nigeria.
The bank said Omokore is indebted to it to the tune of about N110bn at an exchange rate of $1/N315.
The loans were said to have been obtained through three companies, namely: Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts (N56 billion), Cedar Oil and Gas Ltd (N22.4 billion) and Real Bank Ltd (N31 billion).
In a series of letters and documents, the management of the bank said the repayment of the first two obligations is tied to the controversial strategic alliance agreements (SAAs) with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Atlantic Energy was awarded SAAs by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd, a subsidiary of NNPC, to develop and finance production from OMLs 26, 42, 30 and 34 — four oil blocks in all — in 2011.
NPDC valued its stake in the oil wells at $1.8 billion then.
Biggest Oil scam in Nigeria’s history
Industry experts have described the SAAs as the biggest organised scam in the history of Nigerian oil industry.
TheCable had published a report on how an agreement between NPDC and Omokore’s Atlantic Energy allegedly ripped off Nigeria by billions of dollars between 2011 and 2015.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen the assets of Omokore over suspicion of money laundering and procurement fraud.
In a letter to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the bank appealed to the federal government to grant it access to the assets that were funded with loans from the bank.
Seizing the Real Estate Assets
“We will require assistance for the extrication of the real estate assets that were fully funded with loans from the bank from the assets of Omokore presently under the forfeiture order from the court,” the letter read.
“This will enable us have access and rights over these assets and put the bank in a position to realise the assets that form the collateral for the loans granted to Real Bank limited.”
The bank also sought assistance to take control of the oil assets of Omokore.
“We will require some political intervention working with the NNPC to be able to bring this matter relating to Atlantic Energy to a quick resolution,” the letter read.
“The assets belong to the NNPC and we will require the NNPC to approve the transfer of the rights under the SAA’s to another company that can take over the obligations and repay the bank facilities.
“Our proposal is to work with the NNPC to take over these assets (since NNPC is a joint venture partner with 60% stake), and thereafter re-auction them to affirm that has the financial capability and credibility to take over and turn around the fortunes of these assets.
“This arrangement will also require strong political support at the highest levels. The positive outcome of this arrangement will enable the bank to repay NNPC’s TSA funds totalling USD$262.7m, and also part of CBN’s financial accommodation to the bank.”
TheCable could not reach Omokore as his telephone line was switched off on Friday morning when attempts were made to get his reaction.
The current management of Skye Bank also sought the assistance of the federal government to get protection from harassment by the law enforcement agencies.
“We seek assistance in directing the law enforcement agencies to cease and desist from what has become incessant harassment of the current management of the bank, especially Adetokunbo Abiru, with regards to infractions which occurred prior to his appointment as GMD of the bank,” the letter to Osinbajo read.
“It is ironic that the current executive management, which has brought it on July 4, 2017, is now being harassed for the same infractions that it was brought in to correct.”
Citing some discrepancies, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) took over Skye Bank on July 4, 2016.
Before that, the apex bank had issued several warnings to Skye Bank over its failure to meet the regulator’s minimum key liquidity and capital adequacy ratios.
Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN, had announced a new management after the resignation of Tunde Ayeni, chairman and Timothy Oguntayo, Group Managing Director (GMD).
Muhammad Ahmad was named the new chairman, while Adetokunbo Abiru took over from Oguntayo.
As soon as the new management came on board, it embarked on an audit which exposed the illegal dealings of those in charge of the bank in the past.